Leadership in Practice: Analyzing Power, Politics & Conflict at Amazon

Exploring Power, Politics, and Conflict in Organizational Leadership: A Case Study of Amazon and Jeff Bezos

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Introduction Of Leadership in Practice Assignment

One of the main aims behind conducting the second part of this study is to provide a critical review on the topic of power as well as contemporary leadership practices using the case of Amazon. The Various concepts that will be discussed in the study will be mainly related to power, politics as well as conflicts. The various concepts that will be used in relation to the topics will mainly focus on Machiavelli, French as well as Raven’s 5 Bases of Power, power in negotiation, organizational politics etc. Utilizing Amazon as well as Jeff Bezo as examples, the paper will examine as well as evaluate the functions of Power, Politics, as well as Conflict in organisations in addition to examine whether philosophy might help with problem-solving as well as building alternatives. The session will also reflect on as well as study personal growth using Kolb's learning cycle. The effectiveness of theories, frameworks, as well as surveys in fostering professional, academic, and personal development will be evaluated in order to gauge individual participation. The primary goal will be to demonstrate one's comprehension of the theory and how it relates to one's own comprehension and linking it t0 Concept to Practice.

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Academic Analysis


In both leadership & marketing, the notion of authority is crucial. It is the power to shape or regulate another person's conduct, which may be employed by a human, an institution, or an agency. Also as defined by Northouse Power is the ability to persuade others to adopt one's viewpoint, attitude, or decision-making process (Northouse, 2021). Power, on the other hand, derives from certain origins or bases, whereas persuasion depends on tactics (Buchanan et al, 2011). Leaders, in McClelland's opinion, should seize power (Cairns, 2017).

  • 5 Bases of Power: According to John R. P. Jr. French (1959), Reward, Coercive, Legitimate, Expertise, and Referent Power are the five foundations of power. These qualities improve a leader's capacity to shape followers' views, beliefs, and behaviours, and they are evident in Amazon's organisational structure as follows. Via Amazon's Technological Centre, the Career Choice initiative, complimentary refreshments, consistent attendance, and loyalty pays off, Bezo harnesses the power of rewards inwardly. Also, while Amazon removed 3rd agency sellers of water filters from its global market, leaving them as the sole supplier of that product, he utilised his authoritarian, professional, and informative power to hike prices. Due to Amazon's knowledge of the market, there was no longer any competition, which gave them monopolistic power (French, 1959).
  • Power In Negotiation: The use of power is crucial in negotiations. It speaks to a party's capacity to sway a negotiation's conclusion in their advantage. A partner may more easily direct the negotiating process and get the result they want the more power they have. With a variety of methods and tactics, Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon, has shown they have a large amount of negotiating power. For instance, Amazon has an abundance of information about consumer preferences and needs, that it utilises to guide its negotiating tactics. He is renowned for his risk-taking and strong negotiation tactics, which have assisted Amazon in securing advantageous partnerships and deals (Schaerer, 2019).
  • Machiavelli -The Prince: In "The Prince," Machiavelli argues that moral principles ought not to be considered while deciding any aspect of business and that, if necessary, intimidation, deception, extortion, and dishonesty can be employed to forward objectives (Northouse, 2021; Dam, and Campbell; and the prince). An illustration of this might be at the time of the pandemic, when Bezo permitted his staff to operate under dangerous conditions in order to boost revenue. One further instance is the "Labour Behind the Label Scam," in which an Amazon vendor defrauded its whole workforce of $3.6 million.


The spontaneous as well as perhaps improper use of power in additionto authority inside a company to advance one's own objectives or purposes is referred to as organisational politics. Individuals, finances, as well as knowledge are frequently manipulated in order to get an edge or keep control. When there is confusion or dispute making judgement as well as options, politics in an organisation is employed to achieve a desired result. Acknowledging the power relationships as well as interpersonal relationships inside an institution, in addition to the way individuals exploit these factors to accomplish their goals, is a key component of the analysis of organizational politics (Sun, 2018). The social exchange theory is one conceptual view of organisational politics. According to this hypothesis, people act politically when they believe that there may be a conflict or interchange among their private desires in addition to those of the group or other people. The resource dependence theory is another theoretical viewpoint that contends political action results from the need to protect limited resources and having power over the surroundings. The agency theory, which contends that people behave in their own consciousness, and the institutional theory, which describes how organisations are affected by society standards and norms, are two more models that may be employed to discuss organisational politics (Butler, 2019).

Organizational politics at Amazon play a complicated, multidimensional function. Numerous high-profile claims and suspicions of political conduct at Amazon have surfaced in past few years. For instance, many workers have asserted that the performance evaluation process at work fosters a hostile environment where employees should continually battle for the best ratings and treatment. Some have condemned the business's behaviour toward staff members and the purported use of surveillance techniques to keep tabs on work performance and activity (Ferris, 2012).


Conflict was viewed as disruptive and something to avoid throughout the 19th century, but over time it has evolved into a way of life. According to the circumstances and the involved parties, the type of conflict that arises inside of an organisation might change. Whenever individuals or organizations have divergent agendas or objectives and act in ways that jeopardise the interests of others or the organisation in its entirety, conflicts in organisational politics may result. This could involve actions like rumour-mongering, information-holding, participating in power conflicts, and creating alliances. Furthermore, when clashes are not tended to and settled actually, they might heighten as well as prompt additional difficult issues, like legitimate debates or reputational harm (Tjosvold, 2006). Conflict can arise in the framework of organisational politics when people or groups act in ways that endanger the objectives of other people For instance, if a supervisor withdraws data from their group in order to gain the upper hand in a political battle, this may breed distrust and animosity amongst some of the members of the team and spark confrontations that could have an adverse impact on team spirit and efficiency. (Omisore, 2014).

Being a sizable multinational firm, Amazon.com Inc. has seen its fair share of interpersonal problems. The company's tremendous concentration on expansion as well as innovation has been a significant cause of conflict within Amazon.com Inc. Due to this emphasis, there is a great deal of stress on staff to meet strict deadlines and challenging performance goals. There is conflict between those who embrace the firm's economic expansion strategy and those who emphasize work life balance and employee well-being since several employees have voiced reservations about how this environment may affect their well-being. The possibility for diminished staff motivation and efficiency is one of the organisational disagreements over Amazon's most severe effects. Conflict can make workers feel anxious, stressed out, and unsure of their duties and responsibilities. This may result in lower involvement and motivation, as well as more absences and attrition (The New York Times, 2019).


French and Ravens, (1958; 1965) 5 bases of force should be visible in the Amazons association, assisting them with affecting perspectives, values, in addition to the ways of behaving of devotees. Consumes, (1978) and Cairns, (2017) state authoritative power is social which was shown through the Amazon specialist stroll-off-work wage debate. There are two kinds of force in associations, positional power, and individual power. Machiavelli, in 'The Ruler' states virtues shouldn't assume a part in the direction and that trepidation and misdirection ought to be utilized to accomplish objectives if essential. Bezo shows numerous Cunning attributes and expanded compensation insignificantly to forestall being loathed. Impact and Influence are critical pieces of exchange. The expectation of business is to arrive at a valuable result on issues where struggle exists bringing about a mutually beneficial arrangement. Legislative issues in an association is utilized to get a favoured result in circumstances where there is conflict about choices and decisions. Struggle can be practical or broken, collaboration and confidence is utilized to manage struggle. Overall from the study it can be concluded that all the three factors power, politics and conflicts exist in both big and small scale companies but based on the type of functioning and the mass of stakeholder they are show their existence. As in case of Amazon and Jeff Bezos it can be seen that power of the leaders plays a major role in managing the overall functioning while politics and conflicts creates ambiguity within the company.

A self-reflective piece

This segment will define and showcase my understanding based on the study I did in the above-segment. In order to do the reflection, I will be using Kolb’s learning cycle.

  • Concrete Learning: Considering my academic learning and by Comprehending the concept given by Machiavelli was very helpful and thoughtful for me. At first, I didn't believe organisational leaders possessed Machiavellian characteristics. When I looked into Amazon's past, I was surprised to find that Machiavellian characteristics were blatantly there. In addition, this I have also improved my synthesis, interpreting, hearing, and analysis abilities while learning about in what manner does politics, power, and conflict are used in businesses.
  • Reflective Observation: Considering the practice part I can say that It was unexpected to discover from this seminar that disagreement is inherent in organizations around the world and can even be beneficial. Despite the fact that I have always avoided conflict, as shown by my style of leadership, I have discovered that asking questions can help to raise understanding. Different degrees of persistence and collaboration can promote development, comprehension, and improved results. Over I have learnt new tools of negotiation from the entire study that will help me in dealing and negotiating with stakeholders of the company where I will work.
  • Abstract Conceptualization: I admit that while applying Kolb's learning cycle and taking the training program into account, I could perceive the larger picture by taking my time and giving careful attention to the formation and storming stage in a group rather than concentrating on the objective and deadline to complete a task. Also considering the personal development part, by giving great focus on facial expressions and being able to comprehend what is not spoken, I would be better able to comprehend my teammates and strengthen my social intelligence skills, which would help me make the situation work. I also comprehended in this entire study the thought of Prince that that having others' backing is crucial since doing so makes moving forward easier.
  • Active Experimentation: While analysing my political abilities stock I acknowledged the Johari window that showcases there is a vulnerable side others see however I don't. Thus, I asked a partner and companion to likewise fill in the stock connecting with me. The outcomes showed my communal adroitness abilities were a segment of advancement as I scored low within this area. Alluding back to the inquiries empowered me to distinguish key regions to move along. Having the option to grasp others, and what my choices mean for others was an area of improvement, which shocked me. Also seeing the master plan, and making circumstances work was one more weak spot.


Butler, W., 2019. Positive Organizational Politics: A Grounded Theory Study. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Ferris, G. R., 2012. Politics in organizations: History, construct specification, and research directions, s.l.: Florida State University.

French, J. R. P. J., 1959. The bases of social power, s.l.: University of California, Los Angeles.

Omisore, B., 2014. Organizational Conflicts: Causes, Effects and Remedies. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 3(6).

Schaerer, M., 2019. Power and negotiation: review of current evidence and future directions. Current Opinion in Psychology , Volume 33.

Sun, Y., 2018. Research on Perceptions of Organizational Politics and Its Influence on Employee Silence. Open Journal of Business and Management, 6(2), pp. 250-264.

Tjosvold, D., 2006. Defining Conflict and Making Choices About Its Management: Lighting the Dark Side of Organizational Life. International Journal of Conflict Management, 17(2), pp. 87-95.

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